Sunday, May 22, 2011

Library woes

Last week when the girls and I returned some DVDs to the library, the librarian pointed out that one of the cases was missing its disc. I realized that we'd left it in the DVD player and told him so. He said he'd renew it for a couple of days to give us time to bring it in. Otherwise, we'd have to walk home, get the DVD, and walk all the way back to return it. (This is a big deal when it's 109 degrees outside.)

I was feeling pretty good about being granted so much leniency by the library. I had previously been scolded for returning a DVD in the - horrors! - outside drop box. They told me I was lucky the DVD hadn't been broken during its long fall from the slot to the bottom of the bin. I apologized and told them I returned it in the outside drop box because my daughter was crying. This was true. What was also true was that I was on my way back from a run so I was a) sweaty and b) in sweatpants, so I didn't exactly want to go walking into the library to return a DVD. I was glad the library seemed to have forgiven me, and now trusted me enough to return a DVD in one piece, if a little late.

Anyway, back to the missing DVD. I believe it was later that same day when Magdalena came walking into the room with a grave look on her face, saying, "Sorry, Mama." That is never a good sign. She led me to the scene of the crime and there was the library DVD, whose period of loan had been so graciously extended, in pieces on the playroom floor. I think she had been trying to wrestle it into its case and stepped on it by accident, breaking it completely in half.

I immediately began to dread returning the destroyed DVD to the library for two reasons. First, because that is never a fun trip to make. But second, because I had already given the librarian the breezy explanation, "Oh, that DVD, we must have left it in the player at home, how silly of us." Now, bringing in the carcass of that same DVD, it would look like maybe, just maybe, I had lied about the condition of the DVD to begin with, that it had in fact been a mess of broken shards all along and I had tried to pass off an empty DVD case to the library to escape my penalty.

Of course, that wasn't the case. But hoo boy, after I did finally take it in this morning and saw the replacement cost, I kind of wished there was a way to escape the penalty. Because here's how much good old The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is going to cost me: 123 dirhams. That's approximately $34.

Sticker shock didn't set in until after Magdalena and I had left the library (with the bill unpaid - I didn't have that much in my wallet). Now that I realize how much money that is for a single DVD, I'm going to go back in and ask if I can procure the DVD by cheaper means myself, and then give it to the library. I know the Tucson library allowed that kind of deal. The only trouble might be getting one of the cheap new copies I see listed on Amazon, here to the UAE.

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed...and Magdalena away from any more DVDs.


Liz Johnson said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry!!!

I am especially sensitive to the judgment of librarians. I don't know what it is, but I fear the day that I lose a book or rack up an especially high fine.

Amanda said...

It's tricky when they do something destructive when they were legitimately trying to help.

Myrna said...

Well, I am a librarian--so I can tell you that the replacement cost is usually cost of the item plus a fee that covers processing of the replacement item--the time of the acquisitions department to order a new one, the time of technical services staff to label and barcode it. At BYU, that fee is $25. And @ Liz, even though I am a librarian, I too fear the day that I lose a book or rack up fines. I just went to a conference in New Mexico and forgot to return a DVD before I left, so I am a bit afraid of Monday! :o)

Alyson P. said...

Our library won't allow that. They told me they have to buy special library editions!

Crys said...

So at our library the item doesn't even necessarily get replaced. They have a list of items to buy that your broken item now gets put at the bottom of and your money goes to buy the item at the top of the list. One of the kids did the same thing to a Dr. Who disc, season 4. The whole thing was going to cost close to $80 even though only one disc was broken and five were still intact. So I ordered it online it from amazon for $30, took the sticker off the broken disc, put it on the replacement, returned the set and ended up with an almost complete set of Dr. Who season 4. (The disc they broke was the Christmas special which totally stunk anyway). Definitely not an honest move on my part but I have no regrets. I saved money and they got their item back, and the next person that wanted to check it out got it without having to wait for them to order a new one.

Becky said...

So sorry. Hope you can arrange a cheaper deal, some libraries will do it and some won't! I accidentally water-damaged a library book a few years ago and had to pay almost twice what I could have gotten the identical book for, but they insisted they had to purchase it. So frustrating! May you have better luck!

sarah said...

ooh good luck! that is so expensive!

Julie said...

Yikes! We just had a crummy library fine experience (a large group of overdue books that I didn't realize were overdue) and got "the look" from the librarian. Reading these comments is making me grateful I've never lost/ruined something though! I'll be much more careful with precious library materials in the future!


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